Foam cushions are foam products used to create a soft surface on which or against which a person or sensitive object can rest. A foam is any material into which gasses like air are injected and trapped. When certain polymers like polyether and polyurethane are foamed, they make excellent cushions.
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Applications of Foam Cushions
Foam cushions are a common use for both open cell foam and closed cell foam. The main purpose of foam cushioning is to add a level of comfort and shock or energy absorption to both stationary applications, such as household furniture, as well as those in transit, such as automotive seating. In packaging and transportation, cushioning protects products against damage from drops, bumps, and mishandling, as it is placed around the object and absorbs the shock, preventing damage. In other uses, such as insulation, construction sealing, and positioning for a number of applications, foam cushions are an important accessory to those existing structures.
Foam cushions are found in a range of applications, including:
- Foam Padding for Carpets and Upholstery
- Sports Equipment and Goods
- Yacht Mattresses
- Bolster Cushions
- Window Seats
- RV Seating
- Fitness Equipment
Characteristics of Foam Cushions
Foam is a lightweight, versatile, and polymer-based material that has a spongy feel because of the numerous gas bubbles trapped in the polymer. There are a number of different types of foam that are commonly used, and foam cushions can be made from almost any one. However, the most popular type used is polyurethane foam. It is low compression open cell foam and provides an ideal fabrication material for cushioning and padding use. In open cell foam, the cells or bubbles of the material are interconnected instead of being separately sealed compartments. Therefore, there is a softer feel to open cell foam than to closed cell foam, in which the cells are arranged in a compact configuration. Other types of cushioning foam include polyether foam, which is a low cost type of foam that is also widely used for packaging, cushioning, and acoustics.
Foam Cushion Design and Fabrication Process
As with other foam materials, the variety available within foam cushioning is almost as limitless as foam fabricating methods, including foam cutting, which can be used to achieve any shape, dimension, and size. Foam cutting methods include die cutting, hot wire cutting, and water jet cutting, although molds can also be used to fabricate very specifically shaped objects. Stock cushion shapes include square, wedge, triangle, cylinder, semi-circle, and custom designs. Physical characteristics, such as foam density and thickness, will be dependent upon the specifics of its intended use in terms of required comfort and frequency of use. Cushions intended for daily use, such as furniture, automotive seat cushions, and more, require high density foam to ensure a long product life span before replacement is required.